The Company – 14

Animated by such seductive distance, so welcoming to our fossilized joints and dried-up  muscles; and animated even more by our recent memories of what we had hunted in such a lovely park, during the next days, and quite regularly from that time on, we became habitual tourists to its interconnected paths. Not as frequently as we would have desired, though, as we couldn’t neglect our dominions and properties during prolonged periods of time, since we are as likely to be robbed as anyone else. And we also tried not to stay for too long during each one of our visits, because getting too comfortable in that park wasn’t safe. The park was a very lavish and giving place, and as a consequence it was battlefield after battlefield once you became aware about that rough dimension, which perhaps common folk were able to ignore.

The park was then the stage for a succession of battlefields and undesirable encounters. Our best strategy consisted on setting up and breaking camp with speediness and randomness, not giving to our butts the time to get too acquainted with a comfortable bench, a dry patch of lawn, or the collapsed and restful segment of a column in a purposely laid set of ruins. Always in search of the least troubled areas in the park, these ever changing with the unpredictable tides of our enemies. For example, it was a good idea to avoid any contact with other vagabonds armed with more teeth than us. Doing so didn’t tarnish our pride in the slightest. There is nothing wrong with surviving. Similarly we turned around and walked in a different direction if we saw any druggie coming out from their high, any despaired robber meandering with an erect knife or clenched fists, any drunkard in the mood to throw rocks or empty bottles of wine, not to mention the terrifying hordes of spoiled children hunting for whatever could be turned into a prey or a game. All of them were serious enemies and deserved our scurrying away as soon as we saw them. All of them however were merely soaked and discarded puppets compared to the police officers and the fascists.

In theory, one expected that the police would concentrate their efforts on their meaningful fight against the different colors and shapes of fascists. After all, the fascists were the noisiest and most despicable creatures in the land. And one still saw from time to time some policemen chasing down a herd of fascists, catching some, treating them to quite harsh treatment. And in consequence the fascists held some substantial amount of resentment against the police. It was a well established war, without an end in sight. A conflict that over the years had accumulated animadversions, cunning tactics and a sense of purpose that fulfilled both parties. The only problem is that, despite such mutual and fierce confrontation, we were right in the center of their fighting pit, because the police and the fascists hated us in equal measure, and in such a passionate way that both killing machines always preferred persecuting us than bothering to play enemies between them. Conjunctures like these had to be taken with considerable equanimity.

One night, traveling like nomads across the park to make it more difficult for our enemies to sniff our presence and hunt us down, we ended up by the lake that partly encircles City Hall. We surveyed the area and saw nobody. There was a secluded spot behind a bench, with a short patch of lawn descending towards the lake, City Hall standing on the other shore. White and potent lights were pointed at the neoclassical building, the immense columns as guards who would never fall asleep. On our side of the lake there weren’t any lights, as the park was closed to the public and officially deserted. Our hideout was thus pleasantly dark, the only illumination irradiating from City Hall and painting the surface of the lake with wavery strings of light. The darkness that shrouded us was sweet and would protect us. We could lie down and let go of our fears for a while. Regain ourselves, place ourselves in a state of mind in which we could approach greatness again.

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